RE: Subjects

Sorry to all, as my last message was clearly intended for Ali, but I
carelessly posted it to the list instead. However, hopefully some of these
themes are of interest more widely.

The lecture courses provide some really rich material. I really liked Il
faut defendre la societe, although I haven't seen the English translation
yet, and Les Anormaux. I got less from L'hermeneutique du sujet. La pouvoir
psychiatrique is due in Sept, and apparently Naissance de la biopolitique is
also out this year. There's a recent book entitled Foucault au College de
France: un itineraire which includes a short excerpt from this last course,
as well as some interesting essays on the lectures. There's also a series of
volumes called Lectures de Michel Foucault, the first of which is on Il faut
defendre and the second and third on Foucault and philosophy. These are some
of the recent things - there have been some special issues of journals
(Critique and Cites) on the lectures too and a book edited by Frederic Gros
on Le courage de la verite.

When I was at the Foucault archive in Paris I didn't listen to the tapes of
the lectures, mainly because I didn't have time. The archive is only open
from 2 until 6 on weekdays, which made it a bit difficult. I'd need at least
a month there to go through couple of the courses. According to the printed
catalogue, only the courses from 1976 on are available - does anyone know
more about this? (Oh, also worth mentioning that Volume IV, Confessions of
the Flesh, is not available here! I knew this, but thought it worth
mentioning, especially given the recent idea of a discussion of this. The
1980-81 lecture course will be the best glimpse of this I fear, at least for
some time).

What I did read, apart from a few minor pieces, was the Kant thesis, as
mentioned, and the Rabinow/Dreyfus interview transcripts, which became the
On the Genealogy of Ethics and other interviews from The Foucault Reader.
Especially in the first, there was a lot of editing involved. These
conversations did not take place as they appear in TFR and the second
edition of the D/R book. They actually say this, but I hadn't realised quite
how much they meant it. Foucault's handwriting (pretty appalling!) is all
over the manuscript of the published interview so it is clear that he worked
on and approved the published version, and indeed, modified it for
publication in French (see the two versions in Dits et ecrits). There's a
story behind that, which is that by the time of the French publication the
Hist of Sex series had changed yet again so he updated it. There were some
interesting bits that didn't make it to the final version, which I have
notes on... sometime I'll either work these into a piece or post them to the
list. Essentially the transcripts are much more uncertain, vague and
exploratory - the publication turns long discussions into more statement
like passages, for example. Some of Foucault's responses were clearly
rehearsed. There are some wonderful manuscript pages where he has sketched
out the three domains of genealogy suggestion, along with some other schemas
that didn't get spelled out.

The Kant thesis was excellent and really worthwhile. You need to have read
Kant's Anthropology really, preferably in Foucault's translation (Vrin,
1964). The 'notice historique' in that (and Dits et ecrits) is an edited
version of the first few pages of the thesis. Again, the notes I have are
too extensive to post here now, but much of the material was recycled into
Les mots et les choses, which I knew, but also the much much later What is
Enlightenment? lectures trades on much of the argument. Even here Foucault
sees the possibility of two Kants, and what this might mean. It's very
Nietzschean in places, something one of Foucault's thesis examiners remarked
upon. Beatrice Han is the best place to go for some commentary, either her
book recently translated in English, or the piece in the Foucault au College
de France volume mentioned above. Maybe one day I'll get to write up these

Hope that is of some interest to Ali and others. The two state distinction
may have to wait a bit.


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